Very satisfying videos of thermoforming

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Much better than the vacuum forming we did in high school in the 90s.

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“Satisfying” is the new “■■■■■”.


IIRC this is basically the process used to create Stormtooper armor. Heat up some ABS and suck out the air.


Not exactly. Thermoforming uses a press to push the mold up into the heated substrate while what you describe is vacuum forming which pulls the substrate down around a mold. Thermoforming generally gets better results but the equipment is more expensive.

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Vaccumforming is a type of thermoforming. In that video I am pretty sure they are vacuumforming in the video, because at first the mold comes up and you get the general shape, but to get it to suck in to a hole or conform to the sides, you have to suck the air out.

What is the difference between thermoforming and vacuum forming?

Vacuum forming is a type of thermoforming; both processes require heating plastic to a malleable temperature and then cooling the plastic into a new form. Vacuum forming is an addition


You are right in that vacuum forming is a type of thermoforming. This process seems a little more sophisticated than the vacuum forming I’m familiar with. More moving parts.

When I was a kid, my older brothers actually had the Mattel version of this. I was not allowed to use it because I was too young, and you could definitely burn yourself pretty easily. It had a handle on front that you would work up and down to manually pump out the air. We used it to make plastic versions of Matchbox cars. I recall my dad using it to make replacement lens caps for his binoculars.


Wasn’t the video vacuum forming though?

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Looking at it again, probably. I was thrown off by the mold rising to meet the substrate. Also, I didn’t see any holes in the table, so it seems different than the vacuum forming I’m familiar with.

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I think that it draws air from the bottom or through the mold. But yeah, it looks like it rises through the heated sheet, takes the basic shape, then the air is sucked out so it clings to the mold.

ooh now do Han Solo with a grey sheet


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The hot plate in that and Creepy Crawlers taught kids respect and care. Now even EZ Bake ovens are too dangerous for young snowflakes.

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The Easy-Bake Oven problems were due to severe design flaws, which could allow small fingers to become trapped in the door mechanism. Combine that with the heat, and you end up with dangerous situation. One child had to their fingers partially amputated.

As I recall, the original EZ Bakes didn’t have a fancy door mechanism: You slid a tray in a slot over a light bulb (heat source), and that was it. It sounds like regulation and fubared over-design took over.

There no evidence that “regulation” had anything to do with it. They get a make-over every few years, to more closely resemble current cooking appliances. These are all Easy-Bake Ovens. They all still use the “slide in” method.

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